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Stength-Training Fitness Workout

Stength-Training Exercise

What is Strength Training?

Strength, resistance or weight-training workouts are designed to improve muscle strength, muscle endurance and general fitness to promote overall health and improve the quality of life. By looking to improve core body power and muscular fitness, strength training differs from weight-lifting (whose goal is to lift the heaviest weights) and bodybuilding (whose aim is to develop large muscles and low body fat).

How Resistance/Strength Training Benefits Health

Research indicates that strength-building workouts have significant benefits on the musculoskeletal system, and prevent osteoporosis, sarcopenia, lower-back pain, and other disabilities. Recent studies indicate that strength training may also improve conditions like insulin resistance, glucose metabolism and blood pressure, which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

How Strength-Training Improves Muscle Fitness

Muscles gain in strength and endurance when forced to operate beyond their customary intensity (overload). A muscle's load-level and therefore work-rate may be increased in 4 ways:

- By increasing resistance (adding more weight).
- By repeating the specific weight-lifting exercise (reps).
- By repeating sets (a set is the total number of reps).
- By upping intensity (reducing rest periods between sets).

How Strength-Training Can Improve Muscle Strength

The most flexible strength-training workouts involve lifting weights. A weight-lifting routine can be progressively adapted to increase resistance, repeated and it's intensity varied. The same applies to using gym weight-machines, which are particularly beneficial for strengthening specific muscle groups and are ideal for circuit training. A good strength-training workout might also include specific exercises, performed without weights, such as squat-thrusts, push-ups and chin-ups, during which the muscles lift your own body weight thus working against the resistance of gravity.

How Strength-Training Can Improve Muscle Endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue. Muscle endurance reflects how long you can keep using a muscle (or a group of muscles) to sustain repeated muscular-contractions or to continue to apply force against a fixed object. By varying the number of repetitions, and recovery breaks, as well as the weight-level, strength-training routines help to gradually raise muscular endurance and overall physical fitness.

Advice About an Effective Strength-Training Program

Sequence of Strength-Exercises
Design your weight-training routine so you exercise your large muscle groups first, such as your chest (pecs) and back (lats), before working your smaller muscles like triceps and biceps. This helps your body to warm up in the correct sequence and raises performance.

Load and Frequency Levels of Weight Exercises
For maximum strength-training benefits, the loading should be high - about 85-95 percent of the maximum load that you can lift. And do only about 1-5 repetitions. The fewer the repetitions, the more exercise-sets you can manage.

Recovery Times
Weight-training typically requires a rest period of 2-3 minutes between exercise-sets. However, if your goal is muscle endurance, you may reduce this recovery break to about 40-60 seconds.

Frequency of Strength-Training Workouts
For optimal muscle strength and endurance, strength-training should be performed on alternate days, depending on your fitness level, training goals and workout-intensity. Above all, avoid exercising sore muscles. Where appropriate, weight-training may be combined with sessions of cardio-aerobic exercise on alternate days.

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